Dec. 13, 2003
LINCOLN - Nebraska handed Tennessee its first loss of the season, 77-62, in the first-ever meeting between the two schools Saturday at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Nebraska (6-1) led by as many as 22 points in the second half before the Vols rallied. Tennessee (3-1) closed the gap to 11 on several occasions but could get no closer.
Brandon Crump scored a career-high 25 points to lead Tennessee. The 6-10 junior connected on 8-of-13 from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. The Vols' leading scorer, Scooter McFadgon, scored a season-low 7 points.
John Turek led Nebraska with 21 points before fouling out of the game.
"They came out and defended well and played very physical, and our guys did not match their intensity early on," UT head coach Buzz Peterson said. "We just settled for outside jumpers and you can't play like that. Give them a lot of credit and our guys did not quit fighting. They battled back in the second half."
The Vols entered the game averaging 90 points, but managed a season-low 62 points. Tennessee finished the game hitting 27 percent from the field, after connecting on 37 percent in the second half. The Vols outrebounded the Cornhuskers 50-43, including a 20-5 edge on the offensive glass.
Nebraska took 30-17 lead into halftime of today's game.
Playing their first game in 11 days because of final exams, the Vols connected on just 11 percent of their field goal attempts (3-of-27) in the first half and went over 15 minutes without a field goal as Nebraska took a 30-17 lead into the locker room. Stanley Asumnu's three-pointer with 15:15 remaining was UT's last field goal before Crump scored on a dunk with 9.9 seconds remaining before the half.
"They were packing in their defense in the paint," Crump said. "Every time I got the ball I saw a double-team, and we weren't making any shots, so it was hard for us to get going in the second half.. I thought we attacked the zone better in the second half."
McFadgon hit a three-pointer on the Vols' first possession of the game, but Tennessee hit just 2-of-26 of their next field goal attempts before the break. The Cornhuskers did not shoot the ball much better, hitting just 11-of-30 (.367) in the first half.
Tennessee returns home Wednesday to host The Citadel in a 7:30 p.m. (EST) tipoff.